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caber
September 27th, 2010, 11:22 AM
I have asked this question on the "ports of call " board but have not had any replies.

I would like a recommendation for a Princess tour in Port of Spain, Trinidad. We go there in December and would like to take a Princess tour as I am not sure about walking about on our own. I don`t particularly want to see the town itself.

Any help would be appreciated.

FolksOfMeans - ByNoMeans
September 27th, 2010, 11:31 AM
We have been to Trinidad twice.
On both occaisions, we just hired a Taxi.

There are seven old Sea Captain houses there, called "The Magnificant Seven". We walked down the street, taking pictures of the houses.

There is also a very nice Botanical Garden in Trinidad.

Also, there is a very nice Monestary on top of a hill.

Trinidad is a more industrailized island.

Enjoy your Cruise.

chrysalis
September 27th, 2010, 11:35 AM
We really enjoyed our trip up into the mountains to the Asa Wright reserve. Check out the Asa Wright website.

MarleneAm
September 27th, 2010, 03:51 PM
I have asked this question on the "ports of call " board but have not had any replies.

I would like a recommendation for a Princess tour in Port of Spain, Trinidad. We go there in December and would like to take a Princess tour as I am not sure about walking about on our own. I don`t particularly want to see the town itself.

Any help would be appreciated.

On the Sea Princess in 2006, in Trinidad I took the Princess excursion that
included a short tour of the downtown, including the Maginifcent 7, the botatnical gardens and then went to Maracas beach. We had a great tour guide and had a lot of fun. There were several busloads of us and they held the ship for us because we were all stuck in traffic coming back from the beach.I strongly suggest for safety and security reasons that you take a Princess excursion in Trinidad. Trinidad is not a typicial tourist island and the port is in an industrial area.

1 HappyCruiser
September 27th, 2010, 04:02 PM
If you just walk around the town, as we did last Jan, you won't be impressed with much. The place is dirty with many areas crime ridden. We were warned by some of the locals not to go into certain areas which we were about to venture. There was practically nothing of interest to purchase or see in town & when we returned to the pier they had set up tents where some vendors had the typical island stuff for sale. This was the only island we've ever been to that Princess didn't have they're recommended vendor stores to visit.
If we ever do have it on our itinerary (which I will try to avoid) I'll definitely do a tour or stay on the ship. I can say we've been there but it's not a place I would ever desire to go back to.

caribill
September 27th, 2010, 04:02 PM
We really enjoyed our trip up into the mountains to the Asa Wright reserve. Check out the Asa Wright website.

We enjoyed the ship's tour that went there.

cdamion
September 27th, 2010, 04:35 PM
I have not been to Trinidad via cruise, but have spent a significant amount of time there to visit distant relatives.

As others have said Trinidad is not a touristy place at all. If your itinerary brings you to other islands, I would not bother with the beach in Trinidad, Maracas beach is a bit of a drive and I think pretty much every other beach in the Caribbean is better.

If you like hiking, the Asa Wright nature area is a nice trip - one of my favorites in the Caribbean.

I am absolutely the last person to book excursions through the ship, but in the case of Trinidad, I would seriously consider it. Trinidad can be a bit of a rough place.

1 HappyCruiser
September 27th, 2010, 05:12 PM
There are nicer places to visit and Trinidad (http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/44856/2489490700103243266S600x600Q85.jpg)is probably one of the worst.

Cori
September 27th, 2010, 05:21 PM
On the Sea Princess in 2006, in Trinidad I took the Princess excursion that
included a short tour of the downtown, including the Maginifcent 7, the botatnical gardens and then went to Maracas beach. We had a great tour guide and had a lot of fun. There were several busloads of us and they held the ship for us because we were all stuck in traffic coming back from the beach.I strongly suggest for safety and security reasons that you take a Princess excursion in Trinidad. Trinidad is not a typicial tourist island and the port is in an industrial area.

We did the same tour , it was a nice overview of the island , I would not recommed walking around on your own. We did our shopping right at the port, got a couple things there. We were there in Feb/March and it was HOT. Take water with you.
Cori

cdamion
September 27th, 2010, 05:24 PM
There are nicer places to visit and Trinidad (http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/44856/2489490700103243266S600x600Q85.jpg)is probably one of the worst.

I have been to almost every island in the Caribbean, and sadly this is true. Outside of Carnival (the festival not the company), I really dont understand why this is a port call. As harsh as it sounds (and I have family there) it is true.

As far as Tobago (same country, different island) goes, the opposite is true. That is a place I'd like to go again. Nice sleepy safe island with nice beaches.

1 HappyCruiser
September 27th, 2010, 05:42 PM
I have been to almost every island in the Caribbean, and sadly this is true. Outside of Carnival (the festival not the company), I really dont understand why this is a port call. As harsh as it sounds (and I have family there) it is true.

As far as Tobago (same country, different island) goes, the opposite is true. That is a place I'd like to go again. Nice sleepy safe island with nice beaches.

Well if Princess decides to go to Tobago I'll make it a point to take a trip there since we have been to every island in the Caribbean that Princess stops at & I'm always looking for a new port.
We did fine some nice people in Trinidad near the Cathedral who warned us not to venture towards the the other church on the path I was going on. They were telling us of all the muggings that had recently taken place so we abandoned the walk & stayed in the populated areas.
Next time (if there is one) it'll be on some sort of a tour or stay on the ship.

sultan_sfo
September 27th, 2010, 05:53 PM
We were in Port of Spain twice on B2B March 2010. Our experience was great. Once we shared a Van taxi with another couple for $60 total for 2 full hours. The other time for $4 each we took a shared Van that dropped us in town. Perhaps the Port of Spain we visited was not in the same Universe as others.

And when I read this from 1HappyCruiser:

"....If you just walk around the town, as we did last Jan, you won't be impressed with much. The place is dirty with many areas crime ridden. We were warned by some of the locals not to go into certain areas which we were about to venture."

I assumed that the poster was writing about San Francisco!

-Lew-
September 27th, 2010, 06:00 PM
We were in Port of Spain twice on B2B March 2010. Our experience was great. Once we shared a Van taxi with another couple for $60 total for 2 full hours.Really...how interesting.

Lew

sultan_sfo
September 27th, 2010, 06:18 PM
The Brian Lara (famous cricketeer) promenade / square that leads to the Pier was clean and had the Stock Exchange and other financial buildings. And there were many cruisers (including us) who walked back to the ship from the shopping area. It was really hot though.

Really...how interesting.

Lew

robgvic
September 27th, 2010, 06:27 PM
Trinidad is one of the strangest countries I have visited. Several year ago I flew in . The immigration official asked how long we were staying and I replied, "Only two days. I know that is not long enough to see your country." She replied, "yes ,it is."
Then the taxi driver when asked what he recommended we see replied, "There is nothing to see." I couldn't believe it but obviously tourismisn't important

capriccio
September 27th, 2010, 07:35 PM
We were in Trinidad last January en route to the Amazon and chose to take the Princess excursion to the Angostura Bitters company. The few hour trip include a drive through the city (sufficient to see the major highlights), stop at an overview for a look at the port, and a tour and tasting at the factory. We learned a lot about the history of the island and the company,got to drink lots of rum drinks:D, and viewed a special exhibit on butterflies! We enjoyed it.

btrojanoski
September 27th, 2010, 08:00 PM
We stopped in Trinidad on the Grand in January. My wife and I walked off the ship into town, found the famous 7 houses and walked the whole day, practically every street in town. We began counting the number of homeless people sleeping on the street after a bit trying to determine an average HPPM (homeless people per mile)

We have cruised a lot and been to most Caribbean Islands, and this was by far the worst.

All I can say is if the world ever needs an enema Trinidad is where they will insert the tube.

IMHO

Barry

caber
September 28th, 2010, 12:29 AM
Thank you all for the information. I will be taking a tour now.

Putterdude
September 28th, 2010, 01:07 AM
Trinidad is probably the only island nation that I didn't feel comfortable in. Much of their history has been left to crumble but I will admit that in recent times there have been some restoration efforts made. For sure I would book a ship's excursion if this is your first visit.

1 HappyCruiser
September 28th, 2010, 07:12 AM
We stopped in Trinidad on the Grand in January. My wife and I walked off the ship into town, found the famous 7 houses and walked the whole day, practically every street in town. We began counting the number of homeless people sleeping on the street after a bit trying to determine an average HPPM (homeless people per mile)

We have cruised a lot and been to most Caribbean Islands, and this was by far the worst.

All I can say is if the world ever needs an enema Trinidad is where they will insert the tube.

IMHO

Barry

LOL- I think it could even take first place over Jamaica, which I thought was the worst until I visited Trinidad . :D

cdamion
September 28th, 2010, 08:37 AM
We were in Port of Spain twice on B2B March 2010. Our experience was great. Once we shared a Van taxi with another couple for $60 total for 2 full hours. The other time for $4 each we took a shared Van that dropped us in town. Perhaps the Port of Spain we visited was not in the same Universe as others.

And when I read this from 1HappyCruiser:

"....If you just walk around the town, as we did last Jan, you won't be impressed with much. The place is dirty with many areas crime ridden. We were warned by some of the locals not to go into certain areas which we were about to venture."

I assumed that the poster was writing about San Francisco!


Im glad you had a great experience there, just as the OP can. The point in my responses was to not have OP have high expectations.

Just because a place is dirty or crime ridden, does not mean you can't have fun. Take places like Jamaica or Roatan. They can certainly have dirty and crime ridden areas, but they also have nice beaches and things to do. Trinidad just does not have the same positives. There are a few sights to see, but to me they do not justify paying much for.

I would never suggest that OP skip seeing Port of Spain and just stay on the ship. I would say do not expect much of a tourist infrastructure.

If OP decides to head on the Maracas Beach excursion, keep in mind that it is a 1 hour drive winding through some very green mountains. There are several huts that sell "Bake and Shark" which is a local specialty - deep fried shark in a bread that is kind of like a pita. The beach itself may be disappointing compared to the other port calls.

I would recommend an excursion to Asa Wright, then a walk around the savannah at Queen's Park where you can buy an ice cold coconut from the back of a 1950's era truck from a Rasta guy.

Richard in Panama
September 28th, 2010, 09:43 AM
Having done, I think, them all . . . Asa Wright if you are into nature. Great trip over the island to get there, well-guided tour, lots of birds.

Swamp to see the red ibis . . . you may see one or two, and probably some other wildlife. Unfortunately the site to see, all the red ibis flying back, comes near sunset when most ships have sailed.

My favorite is the island tour that goes to the "Magnificient Seven" (unfortunately now not so magnificent, and it's just a drive by anyway), up over the hill to Maracas Bay which is a gorgeous beach. There's not time to swim or anything, but there is time to get a "Shark & Bake" a popular local, not to be missed taste treat (fried shark on a bun with all kinds of toppings). It's a winding road but great views and a nice drive through the rain forest.

If you like the beach the "all day" trip to Maracas beach is great!

Avoid the Angistora Bitters trip . . . it's a rip and nothing but a sales pitch.

Its fairly easy for most people to walk into town from the dock. There generally are people wearing red shirts who represent the tourist board who are very helpful with maps, directions, etc.

You'll enjoy!

Regards, Richard

margaritawoman
September 28th, 2010, 09:44 AM
We were here on the Sea Princess a few years back. This Island was not one of our favorites for sure. If you don't want to stay on the ship then I would take a tour. I don't think I would do something without a tour. We did the tour that included Asa Wright Nature area, Botatnical Gardens (more like a park than gardens) and then they took us to a public beach. This was not a great beach. For some reason there were dead birds all over the beach. After walking around a bit we got back on the bus. I told my DH that if we ever came back I would stay on the ship.

Toto2Kansas
September 28th, 2010, 09:45 AM
LOL- I think it could even take first place over Jamaica, which I thought was the worst until I visited Trinidad . :D

I am going to agree with your statement here. We would never think of venturing out on our own in Trinidad.

cdamion
September 28th, 2010, 10:11 AM
My favorite is the island tour that goes to the "Magnificient Seven" (unfortunately now not so magnificent, and it's just a drive by anyway), up over the hill to Maracas Bay which is a gorgeous beach. There's not time to swim or anything, but there is time to get a "Shark & Bake" a popular local, not to be missed taste treat (fried shark on a bun with all kinds of toppings). It's a winding road but great views and a nice drive through the rain forest.

If you like the beach the "all day" trip to Maracas beach is great!

Avoid the Angistora Bitters trip . . . it's a rip and nothing but a sales pitch.

The Bitters trip is no longer a Princess Excursion.

The tour to Maracas would be a nice way to get a good taste of the island, and see lots of green. As for the beach itself, it is a golden sand beach with dark water, not the white sand and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. It is more like a beach in the Pacific. Richard's is the place for 'Bake & Shark' right across from the beach.

caber
September 28th, 2010, 10:19 AM
Thanks again everyone.

The trip we are looking at at the moment is the 4x4 tour which goes up the mountains then finishes off with a swim at Maracas Bay. It is only 4 hours but we are leaning towards this one.

The Asa Wright trip is another one we may consider.

cdamion
September 28th, 2010, 11:23 AM
Thanks again everyone.

The trip we are looking at at the moment is the 4x4 tour which goes up the mountains then finishes off with a swim at Maracas Bay. It is only 4 hours but we are leaning towards this one.

The Asa Wright trip is another one we may consider.

Check out the description of the 4x4 trip. It is not off road, just a 4-wheel drive vehicle on regular (steep and winding) roads. Maracas can sometimes have a little bit of rough water, but they mark any dangerous areas with red flags. Outside of Port of Spain is peaceful, nice and green. The 4x4 excursion will have nice views of the ocean & mountains.

At Asa Wright you will see lots of birds, and maybe monitor lizards on the trail. You will probably also get to see/hear the bearded bellbird, whose call sounds just like sombody hitting a metal pipe.

nobog
September 28th, 2010, 06:53 PM
Get a cab and go to the old fort that overlooks the city (and island) - you can see Argentinia on a clear day. Because of the roads (poor) I don't think a tour bus could make it - maybe thats why its not offered. Wonderful. I can try to post some pics of that view tomorrow (pics on a different computer). I would rate Jamiaca well below Trinidad, matter of fact I will stay on the ship if I am ever on another cruise that stops there. JK

nobog
September 30th, 2010, 07:00 AM
pictures here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1282200

caber
September 30th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Thank you. The pictures are good.

Aplmac
October 8th, 2010, 08:35 PM
If/when you ever stop at Trinidad
do not get off the ship and wander around the nearby city area.

It's common knowledge that you either take a ship's tour
which guarantees your ship won't leave you

-or you hire a taxi to get you out of the Port of Spain docklands area
and out into the pleasant parts of Trinidad -and there are many

but you're not going to find them (guaranteed!)
anywhere within a mile of where you ship will dock.

Don't set yourself up for disappointment..
.

burrma
October 18th, 2010, 11:27 PM
[quote=Richard in Panama;26264858]Having done, I think, them all . . . Asa Wright if you are into nature. Great trip over the island to get there, well-guided tour, lots of birds.

George Newton or Wayne Gray tours for good guided tour with lots of birds or would you stick with Asa Wright
Thanks

carvalho
November 23rd, 2010, 01:52 PM
I have asked this question on the "ports of call " board but have not had any replies.

I would like a recommendation for a Princess tour in Port of Spain, Trinidad. We go there in December and would like to take a Princess tour as I am not sure about walking about on our own. I don`t particularly want to see the town itself.

Any help would be appreciated.

May I suggest that you do the Trinidad Highlights and Scenic Drive or the Caroni Nature reserve by flat bottom boat trip. Another good oprion is the Highlights and Monastry tour.

Regards,

Charles

ddkinpa
March 5th, 2013, 05:07 PM
I have been in Trinidad on business off and on for the last five months. For those looking for a private tour I can recommend Mark Bisnath's Taxi. He has been very helpful, informative and is always on-time. His number is 766-8114.

Fletcher
March 8th, 2013, 11:40 AM
Of the the ten islands we visited on a recent cruise we thought Trinidad was the most interesting. In the morning we did a long city walk - we are interested in architecture and Port of Spain has some astonishing survivals from the colonial era, notably the Magnificent Seven on Maraval Road. We thought the city was perfectly safe and we had no problems at all, apart from the heat and eventually screaming feet.

In the late afternoon we took a ship's tour to the Coroni Bird Sanctuary to see the scarlet ibis returning to their roosts. An amazing sight and one of the world's great natural spectacles.